We are approaching the end, finish line in sight, major project wrapping up. This has been a great experience for me, working alongside Dani once again. After having such a good time prepping for a losing cause in our Ed Tech debate last year (still mad), we knew we just had to partner up again! Literally within seconds of the assignment being introduced.
A few weeks ago, Dani and I posted our course outline for a states of matter course we intended to design and implement with her class of grade two and threes. Since then, it has been a pretty enjoyable experience building up these learning experiences and actually seeing them in action. As I’ve stated in other posts before, a major benefit of Alec’s’ string of Education technology courses has been their impact on my current practice. There has also been some pretty substantial and easily discernible change in my practice as I’ve assimilated concepts and nudged preconceptions.
This experience designing a course has been no different. Being able to actually put it into practice, starting with a super engaging trip to Lakeview to help put Google classroom into place, has made the project feel like self directed professional development, and I’m thankful for this! Although the project is wrapping up in terms of having a product for assessment in EC&I 834, I know that Dani and I will keep at this. I’m enjoying being a small part of the learning going on in a classroom on the other side of the city, and look keep finding ways to incorporate things going on here at Arcola with what is going on over there at Lakeview.
A quick overview of what’s in there:
Dani and I knew that we would have to go to some lengths to introduce the learning platform to her students. It is pretty complicated, with a lot of parts and skills to learn. As mentioned, I made a trip to her class to help introduce the platform and blitz around her class working with kids as they experimented with Google classroom.It was, as we expected, a lot of work! But I was also floored with how eagerly they got into using their shiny new online classroom. It was fun engaging, motivating … Dani’s students wanted to learn how to use this, and we saw that with how quickly they started to access tasks at home on their own and with families.
Our first two modules focused exclusively on learning how to use the platform. As mentioned in our feedback, this could be a course on its own. With some long term planning, that’s probably exactly what we would do going forward. (and may do just that in coming years). We also spent some time on learning how to use the already embedded assistive technology there that will prove very handy as an adaptive and differentiating tool down the road.
What is matter?
After introducing and playing around with the platform, we embark on our content modules! Our fist module is an introduction to the basic states of matter, and there are is a variety of interactive activities for our students to work on building their own bases of knowledge. Dani cleverly designed some excellent experiences for students to work on at home with their families, and they took her up on this! We also tried to implement some tools to inform assessment like Edpuzzle and Kahoot.
Changes of State
Our next module moved on to extend learning to how our basic states of matter can change. This module provided the opportunity for some more hands on activities that can be done at home or at school. Dani already has a class Facebook page going and we intend to use it to post videos of students running their experiments online to share and build upon one another. A couple of the experiments are pretty messy and will be an awful lot of fun to watch! For assessment, we are having the students build their own textbook using text, images and diagrams!
Put your Knowledge to the Test!
Finally, wrap up our course we have a module that explores properties of changing states of matter as well as reviewing the knowledge we have gained so far. There is an egg drop experiment that will incorporate a lot of what they have learned about solids and liquids, as well a build up towards a quiz to complete. All in all, looking over the course as a whole, we feel like we have built a chance to demonstrate learning in several different ways, with adaptive tools in place to foster access for students who may be struggling with their literacy foundation.
I’m also sure that while this is the product we have right now, this will change. As Dani’s kids continue to play and experiment, new tasks will emerge and tasks we have in place right now will evolve as kids take them in their own directions, probably unforeseen by either of us. It’s been a great experience and hopefully you are able to get something our of our course as well.
High five Dani!
I hope you enjoy looking through what we are building!
Please take a look at Dani’s succinct overview of our course to get a feel for what’s in there.